Garden centre jobs to go

A MORPETH garden centre is axing staff and cutting hours due to difficult trading conditions.

The Herald has been told that five staff are being made redundant at Heighley Gate Nursery and Garden Centre and many full-time workers have had their hours slashed.

One man, who does not wish to be named, said that some staff suffered a reduction of four working hours a week, from 39 to 35, two years ago, and were now seeing them reduced to 30, while others were said to be seeing them brought down to 19.

A spokeswoman for The Garden Centre Group, which runs the centre, confirmed that a review is taking place.

She said: “We undertake reviews of our payroll costs on a regular basis to safeguard the future of our business.

“This has resulted in a review of working hours at Heighley Gate, along with other centres within the company, and we have entered a consultation period over a small number of positions.

“Garden centres are a highly seasonable and weather dependent business and it is important to have the ability to increase man hours when sales are strong, but it is equally important to have the ability to cut back during quieter periods.”